We left Rome for Venice at noon and got to Venice around 5pm. Arriving in Venice is magical. My first time in Venice was in 2006 and I actually shed tears - because of how beautiful it was and how different it was for me from 2 years before that (when I had gone through a really rough patch.) I felt so grateful to be in this magic place. We were staying in a guest house (Villa Stella in Lido) a bit far from the main part of Venice - St. Marco, but it was a lovely place......and affordable:-)
We got off the boat close to our place, but were not sure how exactly to get to our guesthouse. We asked an older lady for directions and the sweet woman almost drove us there. The only challenge was there were 6 of us and we each had huge backpacks....This was not going to work out. I was really touched though - this woman was going to let 6 strangers into her car? We dropped our bags at the hostel and took a boat back to St Marco's square for dinner. It was quite funny because the restaurant was right by the water - dimly lit and the restaurant was full of couples.....likely on honeymoon. I have to confess that at that moment - I really wanted a boo - if for nothing else, just to kiss by the water and whisper sweet nothings about everlasting love to each other - in that magical place. Venice is a city for lovers.
We enjoyed our romantic dinner for 6 though. We had some great laughs. I would not trade my friends in for anything.
The following day, we spent all afternoon at St. Marco's taking in the magic that is Venice.
In the late afternoon, we left for Geneva.
**Excerpt from my 2006 emotional moment in St Marco square**
Oh back to Venice . So I am now sitting in the train watching the lovely scenery outside. Suddenly the train is on a bridge and the only thing below us is the Adriatic Sea (the name of the Mediterranean sea in the East of Italy.) It was so amazing. The sea was sparkling in the morning sun, and I felt this warm glow in my heart. It was soooooo beautiful. Arriving in Venice was so sooooo soooooooo one of those moments you can never forget in your life. Venice can truly not be described in words or pictures. I still find it hard to believe I saw such beauty. The whole city is right on the water. There are no buses, roads or taxis in the main part of Venice only boats, gondolas (the lovely narrow boats from ancient times), canals and very very narrow streets.Venice’s beauty is made more spectacular and fragile by the fact that the city has flooded 300 times in the past 10 years. One day there might be no more Venice . I really mean the buildings are right in the water. I honestly don’t know how the city was built. I saw someone get off their boat and jump into this huge building. The door of the building was only 2feet above the water, and the whole foundation was under water. Truly a marvel. I hopped into boat ie bus no.1 (5 euros) – they call the commuter boats,buses- and traveled half an hour to St. Marco’s square which is the most famous part of Venice. The whole journey there was spell binding, and I kept on expecting to wake up. I got to St. Marco and passed all these traders selling all this carnival costumes/masks and swore to myself that the next time I come to Venice it will be during carnival ball. At St.Marco’s square I went to the famous St. Marco basilica. It was just toooooo much to take in. The whole beauty of the place. The whole magic of Venice . I was now beginning to feel overwhelmed. The basilica is really magical, and the symbolic sculptures on it were too many for me to really take in. The lion of Venice . Standing there in the middle of St. Marco’s square a single tear dropped down my cheek. It could have been the acid water affecting my eye sight, but it was not. I believe it was just the joy of being in Venice . The joy of seeing a place I had only read of in books. The whole feeling that God, Fate and Fortune wanted me to be in this exact spot at this exact moment of time. The fact that life is so unpredictable. The fact that a year ago I would not have dreamed of myself being in Venice , breathing in the cool ocean breeze, standing in a place of such historical significance. Just the feeling that this must have been a vital point in my life…..one which I will probably never fully understand. But even sitting here writing this email, yet more tears of joy roll down my cheek. There is beauty in this world. Beauty that is capable of evoking such strong emotions in someone’s heart. Standing in St. Marco’s square I felt so happy to be such a small small tiny fragment in this big big world. Standing there in St. Marco’s square filled me with wanderlust- a feeling that there is so much out there in the world to see. It made me make a vow never to pass up an opportunity to travel anywhere – Africa , Asia , Australia etc. There is so much for one to see that one could never know until they see it.